08/02/2008

Big turn out needed on 28 February to salute the Royal Anglian Regiment

Posted in Armed Services, Ceremony, Heritage at 10:12 pm by henrysgauntlet

Great news that the Royal Anglian Regiment is to be honoured at a special ceremony in Grays.

The 1st Battalion, the Royal Anglians, did a tour of duty in Afghanistan last year, and, since their return, have been honoured by the people of Norwich and Bury St Edmunds, and other centres having close links with the regiment and providing a recruiting base for them.

Thurrock gave the Freedom of the Borough to the regiment in 1990, and it is greatly to the credit of our town that this ceremony will take place now to honour those who served in Afghanistan and returned safely, and, sadly, the nine soldiers who did not return.

The Roll of Honour of the nine brave Royal Anglians who lost their lives in Afghanistan:-

Captain David Hicks

Corporal Darren Bonner

Lance Corporal George Davey

Lance Corporal Alex Hawkins

Private Robert Foster

Private Chris Gray

Private Aaron McClure

Private Tony Rawson

Private  John Thrumble.

A special church service and parade will take place in Grays on Thursday 28th February, when C Company, the Royal Anglians, will visit the town.   The service will be in St Peter & St Paul Parish Church, Grays, and the Parade will be in New Road, Grays, where the Mayor of Thurrock will take the salute outside the Civic Offices.   The parade will begin at 12 noon.

A special fund has been set up to establish a permanent memorial for the nine who lost their lives, and to help their families and other members of the regiment who are badly injured.   The First Anglian Afghanistan Memorial Fund has so far raised £242,000.   Details of how to contribute can be found at

  http://www.army.mod.uk/royalanglian/vikings/memorial_fund.htm

There has been much comment nationally at how badly Britain’s servicemen and women have been treated.   They were sent to fight with insufficient and inadequate equipment.   They no longer have separate military hospitals, and the one dedicated military ward in a civilian hospital cannot cope with the number of casualties returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.   So injured service personnel must be treated in mixed wards without the companionship of their fellows.   Their pay is not good, and they and their families are living in sub-standard quarters.

Whether or not we agree with British troops being sent to fight in these wars, now that they have been sent they deserve our complete support.   The government does little to recognize their service and their heroism, so it is up to the towns, villages and cities of this country to pay tribute to them.

Make sure that Thurrock does just that, and does it in a big way.   Put the date in your diary now, and give up just a little time to be in New Road, Grays, on 28th February, and show these brave young men and women how much we appreciate what they are doing for Britain.

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2 Comments »

  1. Keith Glenny said,

    Is the service a ticket only affair or open to all? I am Master of the Poulters Company which is affiliated to the Royal Anglian and would very much like to attend,my firm having practised in Grays for 120 years or more.

    If it is possible for me to attend,please let me know the time of the service.Many thanks.

    Keith Glenny
    Senior Partner
    Hatten Asplin Glenny,Solicitors

  2. henrysgauntlet said,

    Hello Mr Glenny

    The Parade is open to the public, and will be in New Road, Grays, with the Mayor taking the salute outside the Civic Offices.

    The Royal Anglians website simply refers to the parade date, with no other information.

    I am making inquiries about the church service. I would have thought it would be open to everyone, but will post further details as I get them.

    Thanks for your interest.


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